The United States and Ukraine, along with their partners and allies, are working together in the search for alternative land routes for the export of agricultural products after the withdrawal of Russia from the Black Sea agreement.
“We are working with our partners in the European Union, with Ukraine and other European partners to see if there are other ways to get the grain to the (international) market by land,” the US Security Council spokesman said. John Kirby.
As the US official acknowledged, land transport “is not as efficient” and the best way to export goods is “through sea lanes”. “But we are working to see what we can do.”
The Government of Ukraine and several of its Western allies accused Russia before the UN on Wednesday of trying to raise global grain prices for its own benefit with its blockade of exports through the Black Sea and its attacks on ports and facilities grain in Ukraine.
“These actions seek to remove a competitor from the market, deliberately increasing global food prices and profiting at the expense of millions of people around the world who will suffer,” said the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya.
This message was reiterated by several countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States or France, which charged the Kremlin for using food “as a weapon of war.”
“Russia has been deliberately blocking exports from Ukrainian ports to drive up agricultural prices and inflate profits from its own exports,” insisted the French ambassador, Nicolas de Riviere.
Numerous countries, beyond the Western powers, stressed -although less forcefully- that attacking civilian installations such as cargo ports violates international standards.
For Ukraine, meanwhile, Russia’s actions ‘deserve a forceful response’otherwise Moscow will see the go-ahead for an “escalation”, attacking civilian ships in the Black Sea and spreading more sea mines.
According to the Ukrainian ambassador, Moscow’s plan involves discouraging all ships from sailing through that area and blaming his country for any incident that occurs.
The issue of Ukrainian cereal exports through the Black Sea, paralyzed after Russia’s departure from the pact that had facilitated them during the last year, was the focus of the second of the two meetings on Ukraine that the Security Council held today.
In this second, convened at the request of kyiv, Moscow chose to be absent, a very unusual move in the highest decision-making body of the United Nations.
The first, sponsored by Russia, had focused on religious freedoms in Ukraine, with the Kremlin representative accusing Kiev of repressing the Orthodox Church that has remained loyal to Moscow and The West focusing on denouncing the destruction of the Odesa Transfiguration Cathedral by the Russian Army last Sunday, something that Russia has denied.
The Kremlin confirmed last week its much-announced decision not to renew the agreement for the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, a decision widely criticized and one that can trigger food crises in vulnerable countries.
The Russian exit from the agreement -signed with Ukraine in July 2022 with the mediation of Turkey and the United Nations- has been accompanied by numerous air strikes on port towns, especially Odesalocated in the southwestern tip of Ukraine.
(With information from Europa Press and EFE)
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